Brilliance is a word that describes both bright light, and creativity and intelligence. Just as we say that the light of a cloudless summer morning is brilliant, when we have a great idea we think of the image of a light bulb going off in our mind.
Einstein theorized that light is both a wave and a particle, which seems paradoxical, yet has since been proven true. The wave portion of light feeds us both in warmth and illumination. It is the never-ending manna of life to the entire ecosystem, which perpetuates our existence. Could it also be true that light carries information that gives spark to our creativity and insight? Could that be the particle portion of light downloading into our hearts and mind?
People who suffer from depression tend to prefer living and working in dark spaces. Happy people tend to prefer homes and work spaces filled with lots of light. Being depressed is a state in which we feel that life is futile. Happiness comes from hope and optimism.
In business we have a choice in how open or closed we are with our strategies, financials, and future plans. Traditional business models suggest, and even stress, that we maintain a culture of secrecy—keeping our employees, customers and community mostly in the dark. The traditional business model is based on a presumption that our competition is out to get us—that they would want nothing more than to completely obliterate us. This is fear-based thinking that is akin to the hopelessness that pervades the lives of those who live with depression—those who prefer the dark.
Some of the more cutting edge businesses of today are adopting a model of transparency in which employees, customers and community are kept in the light of knowing what the company is up to, what it’s planning, and where it’s going. In these environments employees tend to feel more like they are trusted partners with leadership. They feel that they have a say in how the company is run because open conversation on any topic is encouraged.
The traditional model of keeping people in the dark breeds a culture of fear and distrust. Shining a light on the inner workings of a company feeds it with the illumination of knowing, the warmth of trust, and the brilliance of creativity. In this way, one could say that transparency is both a wave and a particle—that transparency is brilliance.
Tip of the Week
The biggest barrier to transparency is fear. Therefore in order to provide a tip to move us toward a culture of transparency I must suggest that you endeavor to move through a fear. Consider this exercise akin to taking a bitter medicine that will cure an ailing condition—it tastes bad when you take it, but then you feel better later. Transparency is about sharing things that will help people to do their jobs better, customers make better decisions, partners be more innovative, and so on. Usually we hold too many things too close to the vest—things that will help others when we loosen the flow of information. Consider loosening up on just one thing, and do that as a practice and a gateway to greater organizational transparency.